One Direction, Beyonce and Russell Brand join The Beatles in Peter Blake's updated Sgt Pepper mural at Royal Albert Hall

On Sir Peter Blake’s iconic front cover for Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, The Beatles jostled for head-space next to Marlene Dietrich and Albert Einstein.

Now the Fab Four have been pushed out of the spotlight by One Direction and a 36-stone sumo wrestler in a new mural, unveiled by the pop art pioneer, celebrating famous figures who have appeared at the Royal Albert Hall.

Emmeline Pankhurst, Muhammad Ali, Nelson Mandela, Sir Edward Elgar, Benny Hill, Diana, Princess of Wales, J.K. Rowling and the Dalai Lama are among the 400 luminaries who feature in Appearing at the Royal Albert Hall, a new work by Sir Peter, 82, in which the artist returns to the “crowd” theme of his famous 1967 Beatles cover.

Figures from entertainment, sport, science and the arts, all of whom have spoken or performed at the Knightsbridge hall since its 1871 opening, battle for attention in the 10ft triptych, which will be displayed in the venue’s foyer.

Bob Dylan, Fred Astaire, Dylan Thomas, The Beatles and Einstein – who addressed a 1933 meeting in which the German émigré warned of the “disaster” that appeasing Hitler would inflict upon Europe - enjoy the privilege of appearing in both Sgt Pepper and its successor.

Whether posterity will deem One Direction, Jimmy Carr, Tim Henman, Leona Lewis and Russell Brand worthy of their place in the 2014 pantheon, only history can judge.

The mural’s central figure is Konishiki, the 36st 8lbs sumo wrestler, known as the Dumptruck, who entertained London fans at the first sumo tournament staged outside Japan, in 1991.

British wrestlers Big Daddy, Mick McManus, Jackie Pallo and the masked Kendo Nagasaki are also given a prominent role.

“Most of the names were sent to me by the Royal Albert Hall but I wanted to get Kendo Nagasaki in,” said Sir Peter, who used to attend wrestling bouts at the venue as a Royal College of Art student. “I was here the night McManus took out Pallo in a street-fight and I saw Nagasaki unmasked.”

Where the Beatles once took centre-stage, they feature lower down in the new mural, well below the Rolling Stones and nestled behind Suggs of Madness. Bill Clinton has the podium, flanked by the late Sir Colin Davies, the conductor and Iggy Pop.

Sir Peter had not seen the finished mural, produced by digital manipulation, until the unveiling. “I’ve only seen it on computer,” he said. “Hi-def images are just clearer and better. Sgt Pepper was a much more laborious process. Each cut-out had to be printed up photographically and stuck down and hand tinted. Now I’d do it on a computer obviously.”

The Pepper sleeve was light on musicians, Sir Peter said, an omission rectified with James Brown, Dusty Springfield, David Bowie, Beyonce, Aretha Franklin, Adele and Paul Simon included in the new work.

Bill Wyman of the Rolling Stones, Queen’s Brian May and the Who singer Roger Daltrey searched for their faces in the crowd at the grand unveiling. “I love the energy of the mural,” said Daltrey. “The Albert Hall has always been a really magical place to perform.”

Sir Peter was notoriously paid only £200 for the Sgt Pepper album cover in 1967. He has been paid “a fair price” for the Albert Hall mural, he said.

He acknowledged that there was a “vulgarity” about the prices which some contemporary art works can command.  A US artist, Christopher Wool, whose stencilled letters work Apocalypse Now sold for $26 million last year, benefited from pieces being sold for “artificial prices,” Sir Peter said. “They’re kind of dumb pictures. Anyone could do them. That’s when it gets a bit silly.”

He excused Damien Hirst from accusations of vulgarity because “his art is about money. Damien could stop making money any point and go back to Devon and just paint.”

The Royal Albert Hall yesterday revealed a record performance in 2013 with its highest ever operating income of £18.6 million, a 10.4 per cent rise.

The Hall was opened in 1871 as part of Prince Albert’s vision for a centre for the Arts and Sciences. Prince Albert and Queen Victoria are both represented in the mural.

Arts and Entertainment
Russell Tovey, Myanna Buring and Julian Rhind Tutt star in Banished

TV reviewGrace Dent: Jimmy McGovern's new drama sheds light on sex slavery in the colonies

Arts and Entertainment
Australia's Eurovision contestant and former Australian Idol winner Guy Sebastian

Eurovision 2015Australian Idol winner unveiled as representative Down Under

Arts and Entertainment
Larry David and Rosie Perez in ‘Fish in the Dark’
theatreReview: Had Fish in the Dark been penned by a civilian it would have barely got a reading, let alone £10m advance sales
Arts and Entertainment
Victoria Wood, Kayvan Novak, Alexa Chung, Chris Moyles
tvReview: No soggy bottoms, but plenty of other baking disasters on The Great Comic Relief Bake Off
Arts and Entertainment
80s trailblazer: comedian Tracey Ullman
tv
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
Attenborough with the primates
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Former Communards frontman Jimmy Somerville
music
Arts and Entertainment
Secrets of JK Rowling's Harry Potter workings have been revealed in a new bibliography
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
Fearne Cotton is leaving Radio 1 after a decade
radio The popular DJ is leaving for 'family and new adventures'
Arts and Entertainment
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
Public Service Broadcasting are going it alone
music
Arts and Entertainment
Eddie Redmayne as transgender artist Lili Elbe in The Danish Girl
filmFirst look at Oscar winner as transgender artist
Arts and Entertainment
Season three of 'House of Cards' will be returning later this month
TV reviewHouse of Cards returns to Netflix
Arts and Entertainment
Harrison Ford will play Rick Deckard once again for the Blade Runner sequel
film review
Arts and Entertainment
The modern Thunderbirds: L-R, Scott, Virgil, Alan, Gordon and John in front of their home, the exotic Tracy Island
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Natural beauty: Aidan Turner stars in the new series of Poldark
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Taylor Swift won Best International Solo Female (Getty)

Brits 2015
Arts and Entertainment
Shining star: Maika Monroe, with Jake Weary, in ‘It Follows’
film review
Arts and Entertainment

Brits 2015
Arts and Entertainment
Paloma Faith arrives at the Brit Awards (Getty)

Brits 2015
Arts and Entertainment
Anne Boleyn's beheading in BBC Two's Wolf Hall

TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Follow every rainbow: Julie Andrews in 'The Sound of Music'
film Elizabeth Von Trapp reveals why the musical is so timeless
Arts and Entertainment
Bytes, camera, action: Leehom Wang in ‘Blackhat’
film
Arts and Entertainment
The Libertines will headline this year's festival
music
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Dean Anderson in the original TV series, which ran for seven seasons from 1985-1992
tv
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

    Homeless Veterans campaign

    Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
    Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

    Lost without a trace

    But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
    Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

    Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

    Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
    International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

    Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

    Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
    Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

    Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

    Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
    Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

    Confessions of a planespotter

    With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
    Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

    Russia's gulag museum

    Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
    The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

    The big fresh food con

    Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
    Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

    Virginia Ironside was my landlady

    Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
    Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

    Paris Fashion Week 2015

    The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
    8 best workout DVDs

    8 best workout DVDs

    If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
    Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

    Paul Scholes column

    I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
    Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

    From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

    Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
    Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

    Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

    The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
    War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

    Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

    Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable